Lent – a Season of Change and Transition
SEASON OF CHANGE – Lent
Evidence of change surrounds us: the seasons progress; garden flowers bud, bloom and decay; animals are born, grow old, and die; babies scoot, crawl, toddle, and then run to explore the world. Transition is a natural part of everyday life; yet we fear it, resist it. Despite our experience with change and transition, we still aren’t very good at maneuvering these muddy waters.
Transition entails some ending and some loss. Loss is part of the experience of change. Even in the most joyfully anticipated events–a marriage, the birth of a child, the purchase of your dream home, getting the job you longed for–someone or something gets left behind. In the most agonizing and hurtful losses–the death of a loved one, a divorce, losing a job, a friend’s betrayal–new life and growth await once you get through the pain.
Life is change. Some changes are thrust suddenly upon us; others come more gently, but come they do. Out of the muddy waters of mixed feelings, hurts, fears, excitement, and confusion, new life eventually comes if we allow it. No amount of fighting will keep change from happening. But if we can learn to maneuver with grace rather than resistance, if we can trust God and allow God to guide us, then we will be stronger, more compassionate people as a result.
Change, with its pain and its opportunities for growth, follows no schedule in our lives and usually comes unbidden. The season of Lent challenges us to consciously enter into a process of transition, to let go of selfish attitudes and sinful behaviors and to grow closer to God. During Lent the Church encourages us to contemplate the ultimate paradox: Jesus let go of his desire to live, embraced his Father’s will, accepted death–and triumphed in Resurrection.
During Lent the altar is bare, draped in somber purple, stripped of adornments as a reminder of our need to focus on that which is most important, to put aside the trappings of the world in order to focus on our God, all God did for us and suffered for us. Alleluias are set aside to await their joyful proclamation at Easter. During Lent, during times of change, we, too, are stripped, laid bare. We let go of the adornments and trappings of our daily life in order to focus on what is most important, let go of extraneous concerns, and allow our God to complete the change within us that God desires. And so, let us enter into this season of change with an open heart, allowing God to strip us of that which is unessential so that we may grow in that which is essential.
How is God going to transform you this year????
This post is part of a series of reflections on the Church year. Click here to follow blog